It’s Complicated

Today on the site, Joe McCulloch is here with his weekly guide to the best-sounding new comics in stores. Before he gets to that, he also takes a look at the time Kazuo Koike (Lone Wolf and Cub) wrote an American Wolverine comic:

X-Men Unlimited #50, marking the one and only appearance of Kazuo Koike as writer for an American comic book. Koike was actually a Marvel superhero veteran of a sort, having worked on a Hulk series way back in the early ’70s at the time of the publisher’s first effort at cracking the manga market via Kodansha (the same effort that led to Ryōichi Ikegami on Spider-Man), but he only became well-known in English-speaking environs via Frank Miller’s boundless enthusiasm for Lone Wolf and Cub, the popular swordsman series Koike wrote for Gōseki Kojima. Miller, of course, had gotten to indulge his Japanese fascinations through a very prominent 1982 Wolverine miniseries with Chris Claremont, so the character’s relation to manga stuff had been at least somewhat well-established already.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—Interviews & Profiles. Gil Roth talks to frequent TCJ writer Richard Gehr about his new book on New Yorker cartoonists.

Alex Dueben speaks to Jill Lepore, the New Yorker writer behind the new Wonder Woman/William Moulton Marston book.

Hogan's Alley has republished a profile of Hy Eisman, a prolific ghost artist for decades of comic strips, including Bringing Up Father, Smokey Stover, Tiger, Blondie, and more.

—Reviews & Commentary. Robert Boyd reviews books by Charles Burns and Dylan Horrocks.

For Bookslut, Brian Nicholson reviews Marguerite Van Cook & James Romberger's The Late Child and Other Animals, as well as Aisha Franz's Earthling.

At Slate, Glen Weldon reviews the Jill Lepore book mentioned earlier.

Brian Cremins has a fun personal essay on The Curse of the Werewolf.

Publishers Weekly has announced their best comics of 2014.